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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Confusion over repeal of Nassau raises

Nassau's Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) didn’t call an item on Monday’s Rules Committee agenda that at first glance looked like it was repealing the controversial raises Republicans approved last month for the legislative leadership.

Schmitt has said he would ask the legislature to rescind those raises, which would have increased the presiding officer’s overall salary from $67,500 to $99,500 and also increased stipends for the deputy presiding officer and minority leader.

But Schmitt said the item on the Monday’s agenda would have repealed the 1996 ordinance setting the original leadership stipends, not the recent raises. He said he believes the original stipends should have been set through same kind of a procedural resolution that Republicans used Jan. 25 to increase the stipends.

Unlike procedural resolutions, ordinances require approval of the county executive. Schmitt said an ordinance setting stipends violates the principal of a separation of powers between the elected county executive and the elected legislature.

He called the proposed repeal of the 1996 ordinance a “housekeeping” matter, which would be addressed on Feb. 22 along with the recent raises.

But some Democrats were confused by it all.

“It doesn’t make any sense that they would put it on a calendar just to not call it on Monday,” said Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn.) “They brought attention to something they didn’t have to do. It doesn’t really make any sense to me.”

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